Hip Hop Video Annotation Exercise


Over the past few weeks, we have thought a lot about the ways in which representations of black women in mainstream (corporatized) hip hop reproduce many racist-sexist stereotypes that have their roots in the sexual exploitation of black women during slavery. Hip hop feminists including Gwendolyn Pough, Imani Perry, and Tricia Rose have argued that racist-sexist images like “Mammy,” “Sapphire” and “Jezebel” have resurfaced in lyrics and images that depict black women as “bitches and hoes.”

As we develop a critical consciousness about hip hop, it is imperative that we learn how to identify, trace, deconstruct and challenge racist-sexist imagery in hip hop. This means paying close attention to how images, words, and sounds work together to create a story or message about people of color in hip hop culture in media (i.e. music videos, film, magazine, and internet sites). We must learn to consistently ask ourselves these questions: What is the primary message being sent by the director/producer of the video, what about by the artist/lyricist? How might these messages be interpreted by a audience who has not been taught to think critically about race, sex, gender and class in relation to hop hip culture and politics?

The objectives of our final assignment, deetailed below, are as follows:
(1) Get students to be able to competently identify how racist-sexist stereotypes about women of color are being used to market, promote, and sell corporatized hip hop music and culture.
(2) Identify ways that the artists and directors/producers can subvert racist-sexist stereotypes by providing alternative representations of black women in hip hop.
(3) Get students to think more systematically about the corrosive effects of the racist-sexist imagery on emerging generations of consumers and practitioners of hip hop culture.

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Access and read, "Media Literacy: A Primer and Practical Strategies for Video Deconstruction"
  2. View the on-line video, "How to create an annotated video,"
  3. Access and follow, "How to Use VideoANT: Creating Your First Annotated Video"
  4. Please take a minute and complete a brief evaluation of this assignment.
  5. Return to the class blog for further instructions on how to proceed.

Need help?

Understanding the assignment - isoke001@umn.edu

Technical support - brown123@umn.edu